By Jeremiah Unom
President Muhammadu Buhari has officially flagged off the Five Million Microsoft High Demand Skills Training Programme and the One Million Developer & Digital Skills Initiatives in line with the National Digital Economy Policy and Strategy (NDEPS) for a Digital Nigeria.
The president flagged off the programme Tuesday in Abuja while commissioning the new National Shared Services Centre (NSSC) managed by Galaxy Backbone (GBB) Limited where he also presented the Federal Government’s Seed Fund to ShapShap and FLOEWS ; two Nigerian startups that made the winning list at the GITEX GLOBAL, which held in Dubai, UAE last October.
He presented five million naira seed fund to Khalil Halil, Founder of ShapShap and three million naira to Bashir Abubakar, Founder & CEO, FLOEWS assisted by Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Professor Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami and other dignitaries including the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Boss Mustapha.
The Nigerian government had during GITEX GLOBAL signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with global tech giant, Microsoft Corporation, to train five million citizens on high-demand technological skills that are needed to advance their respective careers.
The president said his administration remains committed to building capacity and entrepreneurship amongst young people as well as ensuring that ordinary Nigerians are able to benefit from the digital economy. These commitments underscored the suspension of the proposed 5% excise duty on telecom infrastructure, the adoption of national policy on virtual engagements for federal public institutions; and the enactment of the Startup Act.
ShapShap, a provider of white label APPs to small medium enterprises (SMEs) for aggregating, optimizing, and allocating last-mile jobs to gig workers, was the winner in the Mobility & Smart Cities Innovator category at the GITEX GLOBAL 2022 North Star Supernova Challenge,. The startup plans to explore the limitless opportunities for logistics in Nigeria’s growing urban centres and also those of other markets within the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA).
FLOEWS, a flood early warning system, was a finalist out of a motley crowd of over 800 startups from all over the world, but lost out to Kenya’s Melanin Kapital in the Africa Fast category.
The Supernova Challenge is the biggest pitch competition in the Middle East, Africa and South Asia, where startups have opportunity to become the next unicorn.
Nine Nigerian startups had emerged as semi-finalists including Identity Pass, 9JaCodeKids Academy, Floews, MedTech, Paddycover, Pricepally, LiveBic, Technyon Technologies, and Wellness Health Technologies.